Posts Tagged ‘warping board’

studio + pompom flower hazards

the water hazard, core and sand hazard warps measured out, laying on the earth, grass and sky rugs. a memento newspaper from lisa’s evacuation from nashville sums the whole situation up:

skeins of yarn, bags of hemp, baskets of hazards and other mini green ingredients have taken over my dad’s office, which we now call the “studio”:

pompom “flowers” dry on the back porch. they’ve been dipped in a liquid starch solution to stiffen them up a bit. these will form one of the hazards on the grassy stretch of the hole.

how to warp an earthy loom from front to back, abridged

1. tie the bouts you’ve measured to the front beam.

2. sley the reed.

3. thread your heddles:

4. as you’re threading your heddles, tie every ten ends with a knot:

5. tie your knotted ends to the back apron rod.

6. beam your warp (wind it up on the back beam). make sure you pull it tight every few turns, and separate the threads with stiff paper or sticks:

7. tie eight ends at a time to the front apron rod with surgeon’s knots:

6. tighten and re-tighten all your knots to give an even tension over the warp:

7. throw a couple shots of thicker or doubled-up yarn to spread the warp out. these shots will be pulled out in the end:

8. ok: now weave! yalla, indeed!

measuring the earth

mahana, ever helpful, makes sure the brown yarn doesn’t get away:

first bout of “earth” warp, using random striping again, measured out:

the cross:

the herringbone grass

my second strip of grass is going to be woven in a herringbone twill with a color-graduated warp. here’s the first bout (first 150 ends of the 300 ends i need) measured out on the warping board:

the high-tech little method below is what i use to keep track of the count. for every 10 ends, you wrap the yarn. i need 150, so 15 wraps will do me. the yellow thread at the very bottom is my guide for wrapping on the warping board… for instance, if i need 3.2 yards, i measure a guide thread to that length, figure out the path between pegs that works perfectly, then follow that path for my measuring.

next is a photo i took with a cool little iphone app named hipstamatic that my sister turned me on to. yeah, its fun, but i quickly realized it doesn’t serve the purpose of clear documentation very well. in any case, this is the second bout measured out, and you can see i’m beginning to tie it up with all the various knots that help keep it from tangling up after its taken off the warping board.

below is the first shot of green, and you can see the herringbone pattern and graduated colors of the warp. to get this pattern, i had to switch up the threading of the heddles from 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4 (straight) to 1-2-3-4-3-2-1 (point). the new threading took me quite a while to get used to, and i spent a fair amount of time double- and triple-checking my work, making it go pretty slow.

then, to make matters worse, i hadn’t foreseen that, compared to a straight threading, double the amount of heddles would be needed on shafts 2 and 3, and about half as many on shafts 1 and 4. i noticed this when i was about 3/4 done threading the first bout, but waited til i had used up all the heddles on shafts 2 and 3 before moving some over from shafts 1 and 4. can you say HUGE pain the ass? it is WAY easier to move heddles when you don’t have over half of them threaded. blah.

this is my weavie helper, mahana, making sure the weft yarn on my shuttle doesn’t get out of hand.

random stripes and tapestry moves

for the first strip of “grass,” i decided to randomly stripe the warp. i pulled simultaneously from about 7 spools of my 8/4 cotton carpet yarn and wrapped them on the warping board. then, when i was holding the cross and sleying the reed, i randomly picked a color to sley. this process gives a sense of continuity to the random stripe since the same colors occur within every 7 warps, but allows enough variation to keep it from looking overly planned. i LOVE the result, but have to say that beaming the warp (wrapping the warp on the back beam) was a pretty tangled process.

about halfway in to my 8′ length on this warp, i decided to play around with some tapestry moves to create a little “flower patch.” to begin with, i pulled two colors of yarn in, one from each side, and wrapped them around each other before beating. then i open the next shed and take each yarn back out to their respective edges:

i also tinkered with three colors:

i really like the process, but because of the deadline i have for this project, i don’t think i’ll be doing much more of it. it takes much more time. pretty cool, though!

measuring the first warp

ok, i was sick for a week, then spent the past few days catching back up with things, but i’m back at the loom and ready to measure out my first warp.

the first part of my mini green that i’m going to weave is the 4′ x 4′ tee off area. my loom will only weave 2′ wide warps, so i’ll weave two 2′ x 4′ pieces and attach them to make the final 4′ x 4′ tee off space.

i’m going to measure my first 4′ length with all white warp. i’m not sure if the warp will get totally covered over by the weft, and don’t want to use up any good colors in the warp if that’s the case.

here’s the first bout of the first warp on the warping board:

measuring the first warp

measuring the first warp

i need 300 ends (strings) for my 2′ wide warp, but as i was winding and winding, i realized pretty quickly that the pegs on my warping board would only hold about 150 ends. it took me a dumb second to realize you could measure more than one bout for your warp (a “bout” is kinda like a “bundle”).

here’s another view, showing some of the little strings and knots used to help keep count and to make sure the bundle doesn’t fall apart once you take it off:

first bout on the warping board

first bout onthe warping board

at the very end, you can see the “cross” — that’s what i’ll hold in my hand when i transfer the ends to the loom (when i thread the reed, to be specific).

onward brave weaver….

ingredients

there are lots of bits and things and gadgets weavers need, and they all have odd english- (as in, british-) sounding names like heddle, treadle, warp beam, raddle, sley hook, and so on. reminds me of woodworking (dado, kerf, mortise, rabbet, etc). i love it — makes you feel a part of an age-old tradition.

originally, i was going to weave a very, very nice carpet with linen warp (the warp is the part that is stretched on the loom) and wool weft (the weft is the part that you weave back and forth and is wrapped on the shuttle). however, a couple quick calculations made it clear that these quality, durable yarns would soon break the bank — the linen weft alone would, even with deep bulk discounts, cost more than buying all the weft AND warp in cotton. cotton doesn’t wear as well, but as the entire carpet will be glued down to pieces of plywood in the end, and since i’m only getting $2500 for the piece, i’m going to take my chances with cotton. the upside is that there are many more colors available in cotton, and it’s well known that i’m a color whore. given my aesthetic, i figure any wear and tear will, in the end, add to the charm of the hole.

here’s my first shipment of yarn — both the 8/4 carpet warp and thicker weft stuff for the shag areas — plus a couple 30″ stick shuttles:

first yarn shipment

first yarn shipment, plus a couple 30" stick shuttles

i bought a smallish warping board from three wishes fiber arts, and borrowed a larger board from joanne, a member of the mary meigs atwater weavers guild (mmawg). here’s the smaller board with the first guide string tied on (more in this later):

small schacht warping board

small schacht warping board w/2.4yd guide string tied on

i’m weaving this green on a 4-harness schacht baby wolf floor loom rented from the mmawg. it’s really cool —  folds up for easy storage and has wheels to help move it around. here’s the warping board clamped on to the loom, which gives me a good height for wrapping the yarn:

warping board clamped to loom

warping board clamped to loom

next: measuring the first warp out. wheehoo!